Dryades Public Market (1307 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., 504-333-6100; www.dryadespublicmarket.com) is now open five days a week, selling produce and other items. The long-delayed project (formerly known as Jack & Jake's) occupies the former Myrtle Banks Elementary School and appears to be gaining slow traction after extending its hours from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and rolling out a full produce department and hot food line, among other amenities.
The store, aimed at bringing healthy and affordable food to the neighborhood, operated under limited hours during a slow-opening phase after chef Daniel Esses took over, following the departure of CEO John Burns. Esses has scaled down the original plans for the store, which included a "cheese cave," two restaurants and an outside seed bank. Esses said the store's full rollout would happen incrementally, beginning with coffee and pastry service in November. Eventually, the market plans to run a daily operation with seafood, meat, deli, dry goods and dairy departments as well as a full bar and live music events outside the space.
In the meantime, shoppers can expect a stocked produce department, cold prepared foods including pickles, olives and some dry and canned goods, fresh pastas from Esses Foods, a bakery, coffee shop, hot food line, salad bar and sandwiches.
Sandwiches include roast beef with red onion jam, horseradish aioli and mixed greens on ciabatta bread, a tuna sriracha melt topped with provolone on sourdough, a grilled portobello version with balsamic onions, mayonnaise and mixed greens on ciabatta, and a Reuben made with corned beef, sauerkraut and melted Swiss on rye. All are served with fries.
The hot line features a rotating selection of seasonal soups as well as gumbo, red beans and rice, meatloaf and other items.
Store associates said the retailer expects to accept SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program cards, by the end of the month.